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Sizzling Summer Cinema


The Scoop: Carl Fredricksen, a 78-year-old with a dream to see the African wilderness, ties thousands of colorful balloons to his home and floats away.

This is the beginning of Up, a child-friendly adventure movie by Disney-Pixar, the studio that released movies such as Finding Nemo and WALL-E. Carl and Russell, an 8-year-old working on his “assisting the elderly badge” for his wilderness explorer vest, embark on a journey and meet colorful creatures, a talking dog and other aviators.

The Buzz: Since early March, Disney has been airing clips of this movie on the Disney Channel, slowly leaking information on new characters like Dug, a dog with a collar that enables him to talk, and getting viewers familiar with the personalities of Carl and Russell.

John Lasseter, co-founder of Pixar, called Up “the funniest Pixar film we’ve ever made” in a promotional featurette. With the colorful animation and 3-D format, the film certainly looks like fun, but it’s not only for children. This is the first Pixar film to have a PG rating since The Incredibles, and it looks like an action-adventure movie any age can enjoy. Pixar movies have always appealed to a broad audience, and Up is sure to  meet this expectation.

Rating: PG
Release Date: May 29

Emily Handy

Land of the Lost

The Scoop: Based on the classic television series, Land of the Lost follows a researcher, Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell), who gets sucked through a space-time vortex and finds himself lost in a land of the past. Accompanying him on his accidental time expedition are his assistant and a survivalist (Danny McBride). The three embark on an adventure through a strange new world inhabited by dinosaurs, primates and a variety of other creatures.

The Buzz: The real story here is the comedic cast and nostalgia. While Ferrell might be a household name,   funny man McBride, a newer actor, has created laughs in films such as Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder. These successes have branded McBride as an up-and-coming star.

The movie will be easily enjoyed for its deep roots in television history. The original Land of the Lost was a children’s TV show that ran in the mid ’70s and was remade in ’90s. The movie might not follow the show exactly, but hopefully the cast can breathe new life into a 30-year-old concept.

Rating: Not yet rated
Release Date: June 5

Joe Polito

The Proposal

The Scoop: Sandra Bullock plays Margaret Tate, a raving manager from hell, in this romantic comedy. Tate’s work visa is denied and she is on the verge of being deported to Canada. To stay in the U.S. and continue working for her company, she devises a plan to marry tortured employee Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). Paxton despises his boss but agrees to the proposal because if she gets deported he will lose his job.

The rest of the plot develops as Tate and Paxton travel to Alaska to visit Reynolds’ family and convince immigration officials that their marriage is legitimate.

The Buzz: Reviews of this movie have been mixed. It is sure to be a typical chick flick with a predictable story line and the expected happy ending. Bullock is getting rave reviews for her portrayal of a cold-hearted bully, while Reynolds is getting kudos for being the man-candy of the film. Costumes and Alaskan settings are said to be well thought out and very appealing.

Both of these actors are typically box-office favorites, so the movie should fare well, but don’t expect to be blown away by the conventional plot.

Rating:  PG-13
Release Date: June 19

Amanda Moore

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

The Scoop
: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Peter Cullen and others return for the sequel to Transformers, the hit summer movie of 2007. Surviving Autobots and Decepticons, along with new Transformers not included in the first film, return to continue their endless rivalry on Earth as Sam (LaBeouf) and Mikaela (Fox) learn the history of the giant robots.

Most of the robotic voices in this film are performed by the original cartoon television series’ actors. The movie was made with a budget of $50 million more than the first, according to Empire.

The Buzz: Aside from a teaser trailer during the Super Bowl, there has not been much marketing by the studio. A misinformation campaign was attempted to mislead fans about which robots would appear in the film, but it was mostly unsuccessful.

Regardless of the minimal advertising, the movie only has to live up to the first film to be a summer smash. So far, the sequel seems to have many promising twists and jokes to keep audiences entertained.

Rating: Not yet rated
Release Date: June 24

— Emily Handy

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

The Scoop
: For the third Ice Age adventure, the old friends set out and encounter new territory and dinosaurs as they help Sid the sloth out of trouble after he steals some
dinosaur eggs.

As with the past movies, Denis Leary voices Diego the saber-toothed tiger, Queen Latifah voices Ellie the mammoth, Ray Romano voices Manny the mammoth and John Leguizamo voices Sid.

The Buzz: With a third film in the series, Ice Age is on its way to becoming the Land Before Time of the next generation.

The movie’s Web site,, contains games and downloads in addition to a trailer for die-hard fans that just can’t wait. People that enjoyed the first two movies will probably like this one as well.

Rating: Not yet rated
Release Date: July 1

Christine Labit

G.I. JOE: Rise of the Cobra

The Scoop
: Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity (G.I. JOE) is an international organization based in Brussels. G.I. JOE commander General Hawk (Dennis Quaid) and his team battle bad guy arms dealer Destro (Christopher Eccleston).

The film will be accompanied by a video game that will feature a storyline that picks up where the live-action movie leaves off.

The Buzz:  G.I. JOE seems to come back around every 20 years or so, beginning with the Oscar-nominated film in the ’40s, then ’60s action figures, followed by the ’80s comic books and cartoons and 2009’s live-action adventure blockbuster.

IDW, the publisher of G.I. JOE comics plans to extend its series of spinoff comics to coincide with the movie’s release date.

The movie’s trailer aired during the Super Bowl and is available at It looks like a must-see for action movie fans looking for something a little different.

Rating: Not yet rated
Release Date: Aug. 7

Christine Labit